Joe Biden and Democrats decided to tap into our oil reserves after Joe Biden declared war against the fossil fuel industry.
With war now declared by Israel against Hamas, that move will cost taxpayers significantly in the coming months.
In November 2021, in what most of us believe was a politically motivated move to help Democrats in elections, Joe Biden authorized a release from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The initial release was 50 million barrels, but then Biden authorized a second release to try to keep gasoline prices lower.
The second release was 15 million barrels, which was authorized in October 2022.
Again, the timing of the release was suspect, and critics ripped the administration for putting politics over national security.
Biden has actually tapped into that supply far more than most people realize.
When all was said and done, Biden hit the reserves up for about 260 million barrels, leaving the stockpile at its lowest point since 1980.
Making matters worse, the administration delayed its initial plan to replenish the stockpiles in August.
Energy Department Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Bartol broke the news, stating:
"The DOE remains committed to its replenishment strategy for the SPR, including direct purchases when we can secure a good deal for taxpayers."
The reason was that oil prices have risen, surging over $80/barrel.
With a dangerously low oil level in our reserves, we could face a legitimate crisis if Iran decides to jump into this conflict directly.
Prices are already surging, but the price increases we are seeing right now are nothing compared to what will happen if the global oil supply gets held hostage, especially with Biden's war against domestic fossil fuel production.
Energy analyst Saul Kavonic stated:
"If the conflict envelopes Iran... up to 3% of global oil supply is at risk. And if a wider conflict eventuates that ends up impacting transit through the Strait of Hormuz, around 20% of global oil supply could be held hostage."
Citibank analysts also chimed in, stating:
"Timing is everything and the attacks almost certainly postpone any Saudi-Israeli rapprochement, along with any high probability expectation of Saudi Arabia reducing or eliminating its extra 1 million [barrel per day] cut if prices resume their recent fall."
The SPR is now sitting at about 351 million barrels, 44% lower than when Biden took office. Also, keep in mind that Donald Trump had wanted to top these supplies off when oil was at rock-bottom prices, but Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked the purchase.
Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, commented:
"There are a lot of reasons why the Biden administration should not have used the SPR to try to bring down prices — one of which is that the SPR then isn't available if something serious happens. We're facing that right now. The point was for the nation to have an emergency oil supply.
"And it's especially foolish given the backdrop of this administration's hostility to domestic oil production."
Like everyone else, I felt the pinch of higher gasoline prices after Joe Biden took office.
Gasoline was up, energy prices were up, and the cost of goods was up, but I still stated that releasing oil from the reserves was a mistake because that oil could be needed in case of a genuine global emergency.
The SPR is not a tool to offset bad policy. It is there literally to get us through times of war and conflicts that could possibly interrupt the global oil supply, such as a war against Israel that Iran is neck-deep in.
Currently, the United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil per day, so Biden took us from having a cushion of about a month to about two weeks.
When you add in the fact his war against big oil has left us short of refineries because oil companies refuse to invest, knowing that they could be out of business in 10 years, we have a legitimate crisis on our hands.
I had predicted that this winter was going to be a tough one, but this war escalated that considerably.
Add in the fact that we are now going to be spending billions, if not trillions of dollars in aid to Israel to fight this war, and our economy is on the brink of a complete and utter collapse, not to mention the national security threat this presents when coupled with our lack of war supplies.
If we are attacked, there is simply no way we can defend this country in a prolonged assault, and we surely cannot defend this country on multiple fronts.
Biden must open up domestic oil production as well as enact the Defense Product Act.
Why Congress is not pressuring him on this baffles me, as it should have been the first item on the agenda after the news of rockets striking in Israel on Saturday morning.